Curtains can instantly transform the look of your room and make a dramatic difference to the appearance and feel of your home. Custom made curtains are the best: they are designed to match the style of the room and take into account the size of the window however they are expensive.
In this tutorial I want to share with you how to make classic lined curtains that are easy to sew and have a professional “made-to-measure” look.
- Curtain fabric
- Lining material
- Matching threads
- Pencil-pleat heading tape
- Blind stitch sewing foot (optional)
For this tutorial I am making a pair of floor length pinch pleat curtains with a heading tape.
I have measured my curtain pole and decided on the length of my curtains (if you need help with how to measure windows and how to calculate fabric yardage for curtains please have a look at my post “How much fabric do I need for Curtains”).
My curtain pole from final to final is 98.5”/250 cm wide and if I use fullness ratio of 2, then I need to have two curtain panels each 98.5”/250 cm wide.
The curtain fabric I have is 55”/140 cm wide, so for each curtain panel I will use two widths of fabric.
To determine the curtain finished length I measured the distance from the bottom of the curtain ring to the desired (or finished) length and that is 90.5”/230 cm, the curtains will approx be 1/2″ above the floor.
To determine the cut length for my curtains I add top hem allowance – 2” and bottom hem allowance – 8” to the finished length (90.5” + 2” + 8” =100.5” / 230 cm + 5 cm + 20 cm = 255 cm).
Cutting curtain fabric
After you have your measurements for your curtain cut off the required number of widths from the curtain fabric – do not forget to match pattern if your fabric has one (if you need help with cutting fabric with pattern or joining fabric widths with pattern, please have a look at my post “How much fabric do I need for curtains”).
Cut off the selvages or snip into the selvages ½” in at regular intervals to prevent curtain puckering or twisting at the edges.
The finished length of lining should be 2” shorter than the finished length of curtain.
To determine the cut length of lining you need to deduct 2” from the finished length of the curtain and add 4” bottom hem allowance.
The cut width of lining should be 8” narrower than the cut width of the curtain face fabric.
You can cut lining to the same size as your curtain face fabric but trim down the excess when you will be joining the face fabric and the lining together.
If you need to join a few widths of lining material for your curtain lining then cut the selvages off and join the widths before you start measuring and cutting the lining to the required size.
Sewing bottom hems of the curtain
Curtain face fabric
- For each curtain panel machine stitch the fabric widths together if your curtain panel requires more than one width.
- Press the seam open.
- Fold and press 4” under twice toward wrong side of the face fabric at the bottom edge to form a double fold hem.
- Pin the fold.
- Attach a blind stitch sewing foot to your machine. If you have not got the foot you can do the blind stitch by hand.
- Fold the double fold hem underneath towards the right side of the fabric.
- Set up your machine to blind hem stitch.
- Start stitching approx ¼” in from the double fold hem.
- Replace the blind hem foot with the standard presser foot.
- Fold and press 2” under twice toward wrong side of the lining at the bottom edge to form a double fold hem.
- Pin in place.
- Machine stitch the hem as close to the inner fold as you can using straight stitch.
- Press the hem.
Sewing sides of the curtain
Fold and press 2” under at each vertical side of the curtain.
- Lay the main fabric wrong side up.
- Place the lining on the top wrong side down. Your lining should be 2” shorter at the bottom and 2” shorter at the top of your curtain. Your lining should also be 2” narrower at each vertical side of the curtain, so when the lining is placed on the top of the face fabric the raw edges of the lining and folded edges of face fabric are nearly touching each other. (If you cut the lining to the same size as the face fabric now is the time to trim down the excess).
- Now fold 2” under again concealing the lining with the second fold.
- Pin and press the fold.
- Attach your blind hem foot to your machine.
- Set your machine to blind hem stitch.
- Fold the double fold hem underneath towards the right side of the fabric (just like you did when you were sewing the bottom hem of the face fabric).
- Stitch the side hem of the curtain till you reach the end of the lining, stop there.
- Tuck the non sewn part of the side of the curtain to form a 45 degrees join.
- Pin in place.
- Sew in the join by hand alongside the folded diagonal line.
Attaching a header tape
- Fold the top raw edge of face fabric 2” under toward the lining, so your face fabric covers the lining by 2”.
At each end of your heading tape pull out approx 2” of each cord and knot.
- Trim off surplus tape approx 1” from knots.
- Pin the tape to the folded edge of your curtain wrapping the folded part of side of the curtain with your tape. Leave 1/8” between top of the curtain and top of the tape.
- Machine stitch the top edge of the tape to top of your curtain ¼” in from the edge of the curtain.
- Sew the low edge of the tape to the curtain making sure the both lines of stitches are in the same direction to avoid puckering.
Finishing the curtains
- Pull the cords till the width of your curtain reaches the width required for your window.
- Knot the cords at the ends of the tape.
- Wind the cords around your fingers and tuck them between the curtain fabric and the tape.
The curtains are done and ready to be hung to make the dramatic difference to your room.